Kick Off: Carlos Bocanegra makes winning return to MLS, USMNT makes adjustments
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. BOCA RETURNS … CHIVAS WIN! Chivas USA have it figured out. Bring in a former US national team captain and you record a shutout and snap a 14-game winless streak. Welcome back to MLS for the first time since 2003, Carlos Bocanegra. The Goats won their first game since March 30, as they beat Toronto FC 1-0, despite playing 65 minutes of the game down a man. And another Chivas debutant Erick “Cubo” Torres was delighted to grab the winner: “It has a lot of value because we played a man down, but we never lost hope. That led to this victory.”
2. COLORADO COMEBACK: For the first time this season, the Colorado Rapids recorded a comeback win, as Oscar Pareja’s men defeated New England 2-1. Nick LaBrocca’s stunning equalizer and an own-goal from José Gonçalves turned the game on its head. Much to the annoyance of Revs’ head coach Jay Heaps: “We have to be a little bit better. We as a staff have to be better. The players have to be better. We all have to be better.”
3. KLINSMANN BRINGS IN NEW GUYS: Matt Besler, Eddie Johnson, Omar Gonzalez and Alan Gordon have joined the US national team's Gold Cup quest, as Jurgen Klinsmann announced their arrival yesterday. Although, a different player showed up on U.S. Soccer's Facebook page. Meanwhile, The New York Times says every game is a "critical audition" for Landon Donovan and Stuart Holden.
4. HUGE EL SALVADOR CROWD EXPECTED: Despite the US being heavy favorites to down El Salvador in Sunday’s Gold Cup quarterfinal, it may be more evenly matched in the stands. A huge number of Central American soccer fans are expected, as Costa Rica take on Honduras following the US vs. El Salvador game, with many expecting the 71,000 capacity M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to sell out. Reportedly, more than 40,000 tickets are already sold.
5. DÍAZ JOINS DALLAS, ALAS TO SAN JOSE, RSL GET McDONALD: A busy day of transfer activity occurred yesterday around the league, with Argentine attacker Mauro Díaz landing in Dallas. Up in San Jose, the Quakes finally signed Jaime Alas after tracking him for more than two years. And Real Salt Lake sent draft picks to D.C. United in exchange for defender Brandon McDonald.
6. OHIO PIPELINE: Nice piece this by the Columbus Dispatch, as they blow Ohio’s trumpet, so to speak. Currently, 20 players in MLS call Ohio home and during the Crew’s recent home win against Portland, nine Ohioans played in the game. Have we found the new breeding ground for soccer players in America?
7. MIAMI WANTS BECKHAM AS MUCH AS HE WANTS MIAMI: With rumors continuing to spread about David Beckham taking an MLS expansion franchise to South Florida, the Miami Herald has weighed in on the debate. Joseph Goodman believes Becks should take the franchise to South Beach.
8. AMERICANS UNDERVALUED IN EUROPE? We all love watching the American Exports do their thing in Europe, but does the American discount still apply? The guys at ESPN Press Pass break it down and discuss if the USA will ever produce a $20 million man.
9. BIG PLANS FOR MLSE: Tim Leiweke isn’t in Toronto to mess around, we all know that. But can he really bring MLS Cups to Toronto FC? The man who made LA big certainly thinks so. He catches up with the Sports Business Daily to share the specifics.
10. WHAT’S UP WITH SEATTLE? On the latest edition of March to the Match podcast, the guys wonder whether there was too much hype about Seattle. With the Sounders struggling to get any kind of form going, did everyone overestimate how good they are? Plus they chat Gold Cup and share plenty more nuggets of wisdom.
11. CARDS PLAYERS ACTUALLY WANT: Legendary player card company Topps released its new Major League Soccer player cards. The designs look very swish, so make sure you get yours now and don’t miss out on these beauties. That Thierry Henry card will be a collectible someday.
12. DIEGO MARADONA DENIED DISNEY WORLD VISIT: Argentine legend Maradona was refused entry to the USA to visit Disney World with his family. One of, if not the best, players in the world won’t be able to visit Mickey Mouse and friends this year presumably due to his checkered past. Justified?
13. BLATTER RAISES DOUBTS OVER BRAZIL 2014: FIFA president Sepp Blatter was quite chatty yesterday. First he said the 2022 World Cup in Qatar had to be played in the winter. And then he spoke out about the World Cup in Brazil next summer: "The government [in Brazil] is now aware that next year the World Cup shouldn't be disturbed.”
14. BATTLE FOR WAYNE ROONEY HEATS UP: Chelsea? Manchester United? Or somewhere else? It’s all up in the air as England striker Wayne Rooney is as the center of a transfer tussle between the EPL’s elite. Yesterday, Chelsea made a bid for Rooney, and José Mourinho has turned up the heat on United in typical fashion.
15. SOCCER-RUGBY? Marseille’s players took a little bit of time off yesterday, as they prepared for their upcoming Champions League and Ligue 1 campaign in bizarre fashion. In a charity match, they played a half-soccer, half-rugby (known as egg-chasing in some parts of the world) match against top French rugby team Toulon … and Marseille won. Is this something we’ll see more of in the coming years?
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